Oak bark

Authors: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer, Prof. Dr. med. Martina Bacharach-Buhles

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Last updated on: 10.07.2021

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quercus cortex

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Tannin, astringent. Quercus species such as English oak, summer oak, holm oak, sessile oak or winter oak are the parent plants of the officinal drug (ÖAB90; DAC86) Quercus cortex (oak bark) which is extracted from dried oak bark of young twigs and branches.

Oak bark contains ellagitannins (hydrolysable tannins), catechin tannins (condensed tannins) in the ratio 77:23; also complex tannins (including flavanoellagitannins) .

HMPC monograph: traditional-useESCOP
: uneditedCommission
.E-monograph: external: inflammatory skin conditions, mild inflammation of the mouth and throat, and genital and anal areas. Internal: nonspecific, acute diarrheal diseases; also for local treatment.

Field of application/use
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Topically for inflammations in the mouth and throat area as well as genital and anal area. In the decay phase of acute or subacute eczema. Also for chronic eczema (e.g. eyelid eczema).

Peroral application in non-specific acute diarrhoeal diseases.

Standard concentration
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5 g drug to 1 l water for full and partial baths.

For compresses, boil 10 g of drug (1 tablespoon of oak bark) on 1 l of water for 15 minutes. Cool down and use undiluted as wet pads or compresses. Can also be used as a gargle solution. Solution has to be made anew every day.

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Pregnancy and lactation due to lack of safety data, children and adolescents under 18 years.

Allergic reactions to any of the components.

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Internally, delayed absorption of drugs administered at the same time. Caution: At least 1 hour interval before taking other drugs.

Trade names
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Traxaton®; Balcann® skin ointment;

oak bark extract from the Schupp company (20ml on 300 ml water for envelopes)

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  1. Deryabin DG et al. (2015) Antibacterial and Anti-Quorum Sensing Molecular
  2. Composition Derived from Quercus cortex (Oak bark) Extract. Molecules 20:17093-18108.
  3. Kraft K (2007) Diseases of the skin. Zschr Phytotherapy 28: 76-78
  4. https://arzneipflanzenlexikon.info/index.php?en_pflanzen=95
  5. https://www.ema.europa.eu/en/documents/herbal-monograph/final-community-herbal-monograph-quercus-robur-l-quercus-petraea-matt-liebl-quercus-pubescens-willd_en.pdf